By Marvin Dotiyal, Staff Writer
Key Tracks: “Snow Cats,” “Hidden Knives,” “Dumb Kids”
Four years after AFI’s ninth studio album, the band released their long awaited self-titled album, which is also called The Blood Album. These punk-rock veterans have been around for almost two decades with a relatively consistent lineup, making music ranging from hardcore punk, horror rock, post-hardcore, emo and alternative rock, or what the fans would generalize as “goth punk.” AFI’s self-titled varies from energetic rock jams to melodic punk ballads, or perhaps what you could call a gateway to post-punk music.
“Snow Cats” is a calm power ballad reminiscent of AFI’s sound in their iconic 2003 album, Sing the Sorrow. Starting off the song with a mellow guitar riff, the song builds up to a simple chorus, which emphasizes the fading loyalty of a frail relationship. The first two choruses contain the line, “I’ll wait for you another night,” but the final chorus changes to “I’ll wait for you some other night,” indicating the change of heart. It’s nothing fancy, but it works well.
Songs like “Hidden Knives” and “Dumb Kids” are both fun songs; they have an energetic punk vibe behind the song. “Hidden Knives” is almost like a pop-punk song because of its catchy melody and the nasally vocals. On the other hand, “Dumb Kids” resembles more of an upbeat rock song with a soaring chorus. Some might even call it punk.
Even though this record sounds nothing like “Miss Murder” or any of their big hits, give it a spin. AFI is known for having an acquired taste with their music, but compared to their previous works, this release is probably the most accessible for all listeners. It’s definitely not “goth punk.”